The oddly and generically named Cascades is the second of the trio of waterfalls on Whychus Creek, and the least impressive of the nearly dozen waterfalls in the immediate area. While the falls are significant enough to have a look, we were greatly disappointed at the size and volume, or lack thereof on both counts. The falls plunge 26 feet over an undercut exposure of alternating stratified volcanic ash and basalt - a bit ironic considering the name of the falls. The real surprising revelation about this waterfall was the lack of volume in Whychus Creek at this point. Best guess places about 25% of the volume of Chush Falls in this waterfall, the rest comes in from Park Creek, which enters Whychus Creek immediately below this fall. Another oddball characteristic of this waterfall is that it looks much nicer in pictures than it does in person. In fact, it's a rather ugly waterfall in person. Fortunately, this is just a side note en route to bigger and better things further up the drainage.
- Cascades, The is the Adopted name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Squaw Creek Cascades, Whychus Creek Cascades
Whychus Creek was formerly known as Squaw Creek, the name change coming in 2005 to bend to a certain level of political correctness (Squaw had been known to derogatorily refer to part of the female anatomy, among its several meanings). This waterfall has never been officially named, but William Sullivan popularized the title "The Cascades" in his 50 Hikes series of books.
The waterfalls of Whychus Creek are located just inside the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, located south of the town of Sisters. From Highway 242 in downtown Sisters, turn south on Forest Service Road 16, signed for Three Creek Lake (do not follow FR 15, signed for Whychus Creek, west of town). After 7 miles, turn right onto FR 1514, and proceed just under 5 miles to FR 1514-600, immediately before crossing Whychus Creek on a large concrete bridge, and turn left. Road 1514-600 is very rough, but passable for passenger cars with decent clearance. Follow this rough road for another 2 miles to a T-junction and bear left, reaching the trailhead in another Â½ mile. From here, follow the Chush Falls trail for an easy mile to canyon-rim views of Chush Falls. Officially, the trail ends here, but it continues on as a plainly obvious route. The Cascades are encountered Â¼ mile further.